How To Save Health Reform?

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Markos Moulitsas (DKos) is now calling progressive Congressman Dennis Kucinichreprehensible” for having the strength of integrity and character to refuse to agree to this hollowed-out, Insurance-Monopoly, bailout-bill (unlike Barack Obama and the Democratic Leadership).   Link:  Markos attacks the progressive Congressman.

Gee, isn’t that what we all wanted from Democrats? The strength not to just cave in all the time like scared sheep, and actually stand up for something? (unlike Markos himself apparently).

Even as we speak, both Howard Dean and Alan Grayson have now also ramped-up the rhetoric for introducing some type of Medicare Buy In (a.k.a. “public option”) as a reconcilliation fix for the existing corrupt Health Care Bill. Alan Grayson has even formally proposed a “public option act” H.R. 4789.

In reality, Obama and Rahm Emanuel really don’t want there to be any “fixes” of any consequence made to their happy Insurance Monopoly bill.  And without Presidential leadership and support, any reconcilliation efforts will quickly fail, and may never even see any formal debate or consideration (as the Democratic Leadership always happily succumbs to the pressures exerted by Rahm Emanuel and Obama — like yet another massive War Funding bill).

Perhaps the best thing that could happen here would be that the Obama Health Care Bill falls short by a vote or two in the House. At that point, instead of a $70 Billion Bailout to Insurance Fat Cats, and IRS fees for defenseless U.S. citizens, the whole process would then have to be rethought.

In the event of Obama and Rahm having failed to shove a Insurance Monopoly bill down our throats, perhaps then a set of individual, stand-alone bills could be brought forward to make some real progress on Health Care Reform. For example:

  • A stand alone bill to end the denial of care based on “pre-existing conditions” (even many GOP members support this provision).
  • An expansion of Medicare, or Medicare-Buy-In, passed through the reconcilliation process.
  • A repeal of the existing Anti-Trust rules that protects the Insurance Monopoly.
  • Funding for local, cost-effective Health Care Clinics.
  • How about a bill to actually allow the reimportation of cheaper generic drugs from Canada? (Rahm and Obama would be pissed)

The Democratic talking-point here that the Obama’s sell-out bill is “the only way” to ever make forward progress on Health Care, is just like the same faulty logic that we heard before with the crooked Goldman Sachs/Wall-Street bailouts (who by the way are now making big profits, and the CEOs are getting huge bonuses — with that money that we gave them).

Lies don’t equal reform.

And neither does a corrupt system of bailouts, and mandates in the service of a Monopoly.

So I contend that Dennis Kucinich is right.

I found it interesting some comments made by former Insurance Comany executive Wendell Potter, who agrees with all of Kucinich’s objections to the the bill.

“If he [ Obama ] reverses himself on both the public option and the mandate requiring people to buy insurance, that will just be a gift to industry,”.

The argument that we can’t start from scratch with a whole single payer system is just bogus. The President has unfortunately been influenced by industry.  

That influence is what gives us benign-sounding things like ‘flexible benefit design’ – a loophole that makes premiums ‘affordable.’  In practice, ‘flexible benefit design’ means that industry can sell cheap coverage to healthy people that includes $20,000 deductibles, Potter explained. Anyone with that sort of plan who gets injured and has to go to the hospital will be bankrupted by the costs her insurer doesn’t cover.”

       –Wendell Potter

Yet now Potter has stated that he thinks the Obama bill should be passed anyway, not on its merit, but because “We can’t lose this opportunity. There is no guarantee this sort of regulatory opportunity will come up again“.

But I just don’t trust Obama here. If the Senate bill passes, there will then be no meaningful fixes. He’ll close that process off. For the Senate Bill is exactly what Obama pushed for right from the beginning since day one.  Way back in early 2009, he sought a Chuck Grassley-Olympia Snow-Joe Lieberman-Max Baucus type of “solution” to the Health Care debate, and aggresively pushed aside all the genuine reforms, and the progressive ideas right from the get go. He has even gone out of his way to publically demonize single-payer advocates as “extreme“, and demonize the concept of single-payer as being incompatible with “American” values.

So I think Obama has to fail, and be seen as having failed. In this vacuum, the progressives, the grassroots, then can bring individual measures forward (listed above) to make real forward progress with our Health Care system, and try to pass it through the reconcilliation process. Obama will then look like a fool if he tries to ever veto it.

But this requires a lot of independence coming from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, which clearly they are incapable of. Yet the voices of Howard Dean, Alan Grayson, and yes Dennis Kuicnich will have more signficance, and more power than they do right now, should this happen.

Today Medicare only covers just 1/8th of the population. Incremental reform is possible by just simply increasing that ratio (by lowering the Medicare eligibility age), one bracket at a time.  

It is the grassroots, and the progressive voices that must be heard, and not the sell outs (Markos, Obama, Rahm).


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  1. The guys still fighting….

    • Xanthe on March 11, 2010 at 00:27

    us – the “Left” – not the Republicans, not the Blue Dogs – but us – esp. the bloggers.  Someone has to put this up – He’s yelling at us on his show.  It’s disgusting – after two heartrending stories from mothers.

    It’s all about the President now with Ed – and we can’t have a perfect bill – it’s laughable – but I could cry.   I’ll never watch him again.


  2. I kinda’ responded to you here!


  3. … and tell them to tell the Daily Villain Rotation Holder Durbin to stuff it !

    OFA is freaking out.  Somebody must be off script again.  

  4. Unless I get a dynamite new job, I still won’t be able to afford health care. Age: over 55; Preconditions: several, minor.

    I lost my health insurance the day I was laid off. Ex-employer tried to cheat me out of collecting benefits by lying to Unemployment about the reason for my separation from work.Said I was fired for stealing!!! Not one thin dime coming in for three months while I awaiting a hearing for the truth to be discerned, which it was, thankfully. This same person lied to their work. comp carrier after I was hurt on the job and told them to tell me the employer “had decided to deny me benefits.” Wow! And many of us are forced to work for these despicable types to keep on the health insurance rolls.

    Who the heck can afford to purchase health care while they are out of work and struggling to find gainful employment?  

    • dkmich on March 12, 2010 at 23:26

    I’ve turned off progressive radio.  It reminds me too much of mindless right radio.  No matter what their guy does or doesn’t do, it was perfect!  If I want cheerleading, I think there are competitions around somewhere I can watch.  Mindless blathering idiots on the right and the left spewing their brainless propaganda.  

  5. Makes it unpalatable if not downright lethal.

    It is called the Hyde Amendment.

    It is of no great moment if ancient ladies are denied choice but it is when younger women’s very lives are threatened by making them 2nd-class citizens even lower than the hated immigrants from the south.

    Best,  Terry

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